Repressing Meters Guitarist Nocentelli’s Very First Solo Album Now In Stores
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) — A collection of recordings once considered lost forever have been repressed and in stores.
“Another Side,” the debut solo album from Leo Nocentelli, best known as the lead guitarist of legendary New Orleans funk band The Meters, is out in stores and streaming after a second pressing last week by the label. based in Los Angeles Light in the attic.
The album was released last November and has since received rave reviews from Pitchfork (8.2/10), Uncut (9/10), Mojo (4/5) and The Times (4/5)). Nocentelli, from New Orleans, has also recently been featured by The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Guardian, as well as appearances on the BBC and KCRW. Another Side has also made lists of the “best music of 2021” by Rolling Stone, Aquarium Drunkard, Vinyl Factory (UK), Soul Bag (France), Slate and PopMatters, as well as Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy.
Although Nocentelli’s solo work is new to audiences, it’s certainly not new to him. It was recorded at Cosimo Matassa’s Jazz City Studio when he was at 521 Gov. Nicholls St. between 1970 and 1972. The recently unearthed album features a largely acoustic and more contemplative side to Nocentelli, who is best known for his hard funk licks. Backing Nocentelli is an all-star line-up of New Orleans royalty, including Allen Toussaint (piano), James Black (drums) and George Porter Jr. (bass) and Zigaboo Modeliste (drums) of The Meters.
What’s remarkable about the album is that it offers a screenshot of what Nocentelli was channeling as a young writer and gamer and reflects the sound of the times. Nocentelli’s nine original songs sound somewhere between Bill Withers and James Taylor.
While some recordings sound like solid ideas in flux, some tracks like “You’ve Become a Habit” sound like they could have been certified hits in any era.
As a tribute to another contemporary of the time, Nocentelli also offers a very New Orleans-inspired cover of Elton John’s “Your Song” for the album’s final title.
What makes Another Side even more extraordinary, however, is the fact that the album – which could easily have become a classic in the canon of ’70s singer-songwriters – has remained untouched for decades; Miraculously surviving the devastating blow of Hurricane Katrina, only to be found 2,000 miles away at a 2018 Southern California swap meet by record collector Mike Nishita.
Nocentelli has been a veteran of New Orleans music since supporting Otis Redding as a teenager and performing on hits for the Supremes, Lee Dorsey and The Temptations. As a member of The Meters, Nocentelli was part of a band that set the standards for funk and forever changed rock-n-roll in the process, notably serving as a key influence on Led Zepplin.
The Meters were enjoying their first big breaks on Billboard’s R&B charts: 1969’s “Look-Ka Py Py” and the now-iconic “Cissy Strut” – a Nocentelli original that landed in the Top 5 and, years later, , was inducted into the GRAMMY® Hall of Fame.
Nocentelli still makes music and currently resides in New Orleans. He recently appeared at Jazz Fest to support the release of the album and the label announces that a tour is in the works.
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